[Sca-cooks] Agave syrup

Daniel & Elizabeth Phelps dephelps at embarqmail.com
Sun Jul 26 06:04:35 PDT 2009

Was written:

Pulque is the simple fermentation of agave nectar.  Tequila is the
distillate of pulque.

Ok I did  a little more checking:

"Mezcal is the name of a double-distilled spirit which also comes from the 
maguey plant. Tequila is a mezcal, made only from the blue agave plant, from 
the region of southwestern Mexico around the town of Tequila, Jalisco. 
Aguamiel (from which pulque is made) is the natural juice of the maguey 
plant, whereas mezcal is the clear spirit made out of the heart of the plant 


"To produce agave syrup, juice is expressed from the core of the agave, 
called the piña.[1] The juice is filtered, then heated, to hydrolyze 
carbohydrates into sugars. The main carbohydrate is a complex form of 
fructose called inulin or fructosan. The filtered, hydrolyzed juice is 
concentrated to a syrup-like liquid a little thinner than honey and ranges 
in color from light to dark depending on the degree of processing. An 
alternative method used to process the agave juice without heat is described 
in a United States patent for a process that uses enzymes to hydrolyze the 
polyfructose extract into fructose"


"Pulque as defined sourish beer produced by the rapid natural fermentation 
of aquamiel, the sweet, mucilaginous sap of the agave (American aloe or 
century plant, Agave americana). Contains 6% alcohol by volume."

The process as described:

"Each day the tlachiquero siphons out the aguamiel using a long gourd and 
scrapes out the cavity so more aguamiel will accumulate. The plant will 
produce aguamiel for as long as a month. The aguamiel is then fermented 
(usually in large barrels inside a building called a tinacal). Remarkably, 
the primary microorganism responsible for fermentation is not a yeast, but a 
bacterium (Zymomonas_mobilis). This microorganism is considered undesirable 
in most fermented beverages, but gives pulque it's unique flavor."

I would suggest that, as yeast is not primary to pulque fermentation and 
that grain is not used, that pulque is not a "beer".

Be that as it may it appears that pulque is made from the raw natural juice 
of the agave plant.  Agave syrup, aka agave nectar as sold, is a procesed 
product.  Has anyone fermented this processed product?  Perhaps in the 
production of  "Vegan Mead" or is there a problem fermenting with yeast 


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